19 June, 2006

Conversations with Kandinsky

Murnau Street with Women, 1908. Oil on cardboard

Lonely today.

Went to the Kandinsky exhibit opening at Tate Modern with Kit. The Exhibit was stunning, stirring. But the truth is, I am still unbearably scattered, broken, sucked under by the black water. The sky outside the large, imposing windows of the Tate's main gallery was decidedly menacing.

I am pleased to know Kit. He has brought serious meaning to my life at present. Totally different to any other person I have ever known. We manage to attend some wonderful artistic events together (from Orfeo to Fuerzabruta to Avenue Q), and talking with him is an indescribable pleasure. Sometimes I think the universe sends us people, and Kit and I seem to need one another in the midst of a sometimes cruel and faceless London. We've found our "guide," if you will, for this part of the journey.

I love Kandinsky. I like everything about him. His life, his birthplace (December 4, 1866, Moscow), his personal choices, and artistic integrity (in the form of the group Der Blaue Reiter at the Bauhaus).

He was often called the "Father of Abstract Art." Kandinsky trained as a lawyer in his native Russia, but discovered his true calling was in visual art. When and his wife moved to Germany, he studied art, while Mrs. Kandinsky filed for divorce. He went on to found the group Der Blaue Reiter and taught at the Bauhaus, always writing prolifically on the connections between art, music and spirituality (and found time to marry again). Much of his work was destroyed, as "degenerate", by the Nazi party.

He has some brilliant quotes:

"Every artist, as creator, must learn to express what is personally characteristic."
-- (The element of personality.)

"Every artist, as a child of his era, must express what is characteristic of this age."
-- (The element of style in its interior value, consisting of the language of the times and the language of the people.)

"Every artist, as servant of the art, must express that which is characteristic of art generally."
-- (The element of pure and eternal art, found among all human beings, among all peoples and at all times, and which appears in the work of all artists of all nations and in all ages and which does not obey, as essential element of art, any law of space or time.)

I fell in to his paintings. My limp, flimsy spirit fell head first into his spiritual world, in to his connection to something greater despite extreme adversity. And Kandinsky lightened me, lifted me up, released the burden, even if only for a moment. There is hope, there is always hope...

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